Color - Physics


The colors of the visible light spectrum
color wavelength interval frequency interval
red ~ 700–635 nm ~ 430–480 THz
orange ~ 635–590 nm ~ 480–510 THz
yellow ~ 590–560 nm ~ 510–540 THz
green ~ 560–490 nm ~ 540–610 THz
blue ~ 490–450 nm ~ 610–670 THz
violet ~ 450–400 nm ~ 670–750 THz
Color, wavelength, frequency and energy of light





(kJ mol−1)

Infrared >1000 <300 <1.00 <1.24 <120
Red 700 428 1.43 1.77 171
Orange 620 484 1.61 2.00 193
Yellow 580 517 1.72 2.14 206
Green 530 566 1.89 2.34 226
Blue 470 638 2.13 2.64 254
Violet 420 714 2.38 2.95 285
Near ultraviolet 300 1000 3.33 4.15 400
Far ultraviolet <200 >1500 >5.00 >6.20 >598

Electromagnetic radiation is characterized by its wavelength (or frequency) and its intensity. When the wavelength is within the visible spectrum (the range of wavelengths humans can perceive, approximately from 390 nm to 750 nm), it is known as "visible light".

Most light sources emit light at many different wavelengths; a source's spectrum is a distribution giving its intensity at each wavelength. Although the spectrum of light arriving at the eye from a given direction determines the color sensation in that direction, there are many more possible spectral combinations than color sensations. In fact, one may formally define a color as a class of spectra that give rise to the same color sensation, although such classes would vary widely among different species, and to a lesser extent among individuals within the same species. In each such class the members are called metamers of the color in question.

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Famous quotes containing the word physics:

    Now the twitching stops. Now you are still. We are through with physiology and theology, physics begins.
    Alfred Döblin (1878–1957)

    The pace of science forces the pace of technique. Theoretical physics forces atomic energy on us; the successful production of the fission bomb forces upon us the manufacture of the hydrogen bomb. We do not choose our problems, we do not choose our products; we are pushed, we are forced—by what? By a system which has no purpose and goal transcending it, and which makes man its appendix.
    Erich Fromm (1900–1980)

    We must be physicists in order ... to be creative since so far codes of values and ideals have been constructed in ignorance of physics or even in contradiction to physics.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)